Ultrasound First will perform an ABI ultrasound study to assess the blood flow and pressure in your arms and legs. This non-invasive procedure utilizes sound waves to create images and provide valuable information about the health of your arteries. Here’s what you can expect during your ABI ultrasound study with Ultrasound First:
- Preparation: No special preparation is typically required for an ABI ultrasound study. You can eat, drink, and take your medications as usual.
- Procedure: You will lie down on an examination table, and a skilled ultrasound technician from Ultrasound First will apply gel to the areas being examined, typically your arms and legs. The gel assists in the transmission of sound waves. The technician will use a handheld device called a transducer.
- Transducer placement: The technician will gently move the transducer over the arteries in your arms and legs, capturing images and assessing blood flow. The transducer emits high-frequency sound waves that penetrate your body and bounce back as echoes.
- Image creation: The transducer detects the echoes produced by the sound waves as they interact with your arteries. These echoes are converted into real-time images displayed on a monitor. The technician will carefully examine these images.
- Blood flow and pressure assessment: The ultrasound technician will measure the blood pressure in your arms and ankles using a blood pressure cuff. They will compare the systolic blood pressure (the highest pressure when the heart contracts) in these areas to calculate the ankle-brachial index (ABI). The ABI is a ratio that helps assess the presence and severity of peripheral artery disease (PAD).
- Observations: The technician will assess the ABI values and compare them to normal ranges. Lower ABI values indicate reduced blood flow to the legs, which may suggest the presence of PAD. The technician may also examine the arterial walls for any signs of plaque buildup or narrowing.
- Duration: An ABI ultrasound study typically takes about 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the complexity of the examination.
- Results: After the study, a specialized vascular sonographer or radiologist will review the images and interpret the findings. They will prepare a report for your doctor, who will discuss the results with you during a follow-up appointment. The ultrasound helps your doctor make a diagnosis and determine appropriate treatment options if necessary.
An ABI ultrasound study performed by Ultrasound First is a painless and safe procedure that provides valuable insights into the blood flow and pressure in your arms and legs. It assists your healthcare team in evaluating the health of your arteries and diagnosing conditions such as peripheral artery disease.